New trustees to join Cornell board

At its May 27 meeting, the Cornell Board of Trustees elected eight new members to four-year terms: Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D. ’94; Richard S. Emmet II ’94; Kevin J. Jacobs ’94; Robert Jain ’92; Kevin P.B. Johnson ’88; Eric Kutcher ’96, M.Eng, ’97; Gilda Perez-Alvarado ’02; and Hernan J.F. Saenz, MBA ’98, M.I.L.R. ’98.

They join recent alumni-elected trustees Deborah J. Arrindell ’79 and Kimberly Nicole Dowdell ’06, who also will serve four-year terms. All newly elected trustees’ terms begin July 1.

Also at the May 27 meeting, five current trustees were reelected to four-year terms: Kraig H. Kayser, MBA ’84; William Ooi Lee Lim ’80, MAR ’82; Bruce S. Raynor ’72; Aryan Shayegani ’88, M.D. ’92; Bradley H. Stone ’77. Kayser will succeed Robert S. Harrison ’76 as board chair, effective July 1.

They join recently elected trustees David R. Lee (faculty-elected, four-year term) and Hei Hei Depew (employee-elected, two-year term).

Ellison is a director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, an intellectual property (IP) specialty law firm dedicated to the protection, transfer and enforcement of IP rights. Ellison lectures frequently on topics such as post-grant proceedings; intellectual property strategy and management; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Ellison is a member of Sterne Kessler’s executive and compensation committees. She previously served on the board of directors for Turning Point Academy Public Charter School in Maryland.

Emmet is a managing director at Jane Street Capital, a New York City trading firm. He’s a member of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) Advisory Council and college campaign co-chair. He was previously a member of the A&S Ad Hoc Campaign Planning Committee and the Class of 1994 reunion committees. At Cornell, Emmet was captain of the football team, president of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and a member of the Sphinx Head Society.

Jacobs is chief financial officer and president of global development for Hilton Worldwide, leading the company’s finance, real estate, development, and architecture and construction functions globally. Jacobs joined the company in 2008. He is a member of the board of directors of Omega Healthcare Investors, and serves on the board of directors of Goodwill of Greater Washington. Jacobs is a member of the Cornell University Council and the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration Dean’s Advisory Board.

Jain is co-chief investment officer at Millennium Management LLC, and is founder and chairman of the Jain Family Institute (JFI), a nonprofit research organization dedicated to addressing pressing social issues in the areas of higher education finance, guaranteed income, and digital ethics and governance. JFI was a key partner in developing the Student Freedom Initiative, which provides alternative higher education financing at historically Black colleges and universities. Jain has served on the A&S Advisory Council since 2015.

Johnson is a partner and IP trial lawyer at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, where he represents a range of clients. He is a member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Council; the College of Engineering Advisory Council; and the Engineering Campaign Executive Committee. Johnson and his wife, Melinda, have been key supporters of the College of Engineering’s Bridges Scholars Program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students in STEM.

Kutcher is a senior partner and chief financial officer at McKinsey & Company, where he also serves on the firm’s shareholders’ council. He has also served as global leader of the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications practice. In 2021, Kutcher joined the invitation-only CNBC CFO Council; he’s also a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group board. Kutcher served on the 10th Reunion Campaign Major Gifts Committee, and as Class of 1996 membership chair from 2006-11.

Perez-Alvarado is the global chief executive officer of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, where she also leads the group’s Global Hotel Desk, a specialized team of cross-border investment sales professionals based in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe. Perez-Alvarado is a member of the Nolan Hotel School Dean’s Advisory Board. In 2021, she was featured in the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series and Ye Hosts Honor Society.

Saenz is a partner at Bain & Company, where he leads the firm’s global performance improvement practice. He also serves on its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and is the founder of Latinos at Bain, an affinity network focused on recruitment, development and retention of top Latino business talent. Saenz serves on the leadership council of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and is a visiting senior lecturer in the Department of Management and Organizations.

Lee is a professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (SC Johnson) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He served as provost’s fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs from 2014-18. His research focuses on the interface between economic development, agriculture and the environment. Lee has served as a visiting economist in the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (Rome); in the chief economist’s office of the U.S. Agency for International Development; and in the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Depew is a financial compliance analyst in Cornell’s Division of Financial Affairs with more than 14 years of experience working in various finance roles. Previously she worked in New York City in global e-commerce and global experiential marketing. She has spent the past five years volunteering on the Employee Assembly, and has served as both vice chair and chair. After Cornell shifted to remote work in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, Depew played a role in moderating staff forums in partnership with senior leadership.

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